What Is a Struck-By Hazard?

Working in hands-on industries where there are moving parts and equipment, heavy equipment and machinery, tools, and vehicles and objects in motion can be very dangerous. Indeed, workers in industries like construction are at a higher risk of injury and death than workers in less hazardous jobs.

For construction workers and others who work around equipment, machinery, and moving vehicles, one of the most dangerous hazards is a struck-by hazard. If you work in a dangerous industry, it’s important to understand what a struck-by hazard is, how struck-by accidents happen and how to prevent them, and what to do if you’re involved in a struck-by accident.

What Is a Struck-By Hazard?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines a struck-by injury as an injury that’s produced by the “forcible contact or impact between the injured person and an object or piece of equipment.” When the impact alone causes the injury—i.e. someone getting hit in the head by a large piece of equipment—then this is considered a struck injury.

This is different from a caught injury, which OSHA explains is an injury created as a result of a person being crushed between objects. OSHA categorizes the following as struck-by hazards that can cause struck-by injuries:

  • Flying objects
  • Falling objects
  • Swinging objects
  • Rolling objects

How Do Struck-By Accidents Happen?

One important thing to know about struck-by accidents is that they are almost always completely preventable. These types of accidents happen when objects are improperly secured, workers are improperly trained, equipment is defective, or incorrect safety protocols are followed on a job site.

In some cases, struck-by accidents can occur as a result of the actions of negligent third parties that are not related to the job site/employer. For example, a drunk driver could hit and kill a construction worker in a roadside construction zone.

Avoiding Struck-By Accidents

Because most struck-by accidents occur as a result of negligence and the failure to follow property safety procedures, there are steps that employees and employers can take to eliminate struck-by hazards and reduce the risk of struck-by accidents. For example, things that employers can do include:

  • Ensure all workers on site have access to proper safety equipment and are using the equipment.
  • Make sure all workers are properly trained; have ongoing training sessions as needed and whenever introducing new equipment, machinery, techniques, or projects.
  • Ensure that all equipment, machinery, and vehicles on site are properly serviced and maintained.
  • Respond to accidents immediately and all accidents that occur to determine what happened and what can be done differently next time; implement lessons learned.
  • Ensuring safety managers are assigned and supervising all work.

For employees, there are also steps that can be taken to minimize the risk of an accident. Employees should always pay close attention to what they’re doing, follow safety protocols, refrain from rough-housing, and always work while sober.

What to Do if You’re Involved in a Struck-By Accident

If you are involved in a struck-by accident at work, it’s important that you understand your rights and how to recover compensation for your injuries.

If your injuries are severe, you should seek emergency medical care, which will be covered by your workers’ compensation provider. After seeking medical care, you should make sure that you report your accident to your employer immediately. If you do not report the accident, you may be barred from recovery. After reporting the accident, it is important that any medical care you receive comes from an approved medical provider.

Your employer will be responsible for reporting the injury to your workers’ compensation provider. If they do not report the injury, you should report the injury yourself.

The workers’ compensation insurance provider will investigate your claim and will likely offer you a settlement. You do not have to accept the initial settlement offer. You have the right to negotiate your claim.

Note that due to the nature of the workers’ compensation system, you do not have the right to bring forth a claim against your employer. You may have the right to bring forth a third-party liability claim for damages against a negligent third party.

Avoiding Being Involved in a Struck-By Accident

While you have the right to workers’ compensation insurance in the event that you’re injured on the job, avoiding being involved in a struck-by accident should be the top priority. By following safety regulations, always utilizing safety equipment, paying attention, and attending safety training, you can reduce your risk of being involved in a struck-by accident.


Common Hazards at Construction Worksites

While modern-day construction sites may be places of incredible innovation and industry, construction sites can also be very dangerous. The rate of injury within the construction industry is higher than it is for most other industries, and, unfortunately, private construction industry fatalities appear to be increasing. For construction workers, contractors, property managers, and site managers, understanding the common hazards at a construction site is the first step in mitigating injuries. Consider these common construction worksite hazards, and call OSHA Injury Attorney if you or a loved one has been harmed on the job.

Moving Objects, Equipment, Machinery, and Vehicles 

On a construction site, anything that moves can be a hazard. This includes vehicles, machinery, equipment, tools, cement mixers, and even unstable foundations. Transportation-related accidents are a leading cause of death in the private construction industry, and caught-in/between accidents are also one of the construction industry’s fatal four–one of the top four causes of fatal injury. Remaining vigilant of surroundings and keeping a safe distance from moving objects is critical. Additionally, it is important that equipment and machinery are regularly inspected and maintained to ensure that it is performing as expected. Of course, operating any moving equipment, machinery, or motor vehicles with proper training is also key.


 Falls are another one of the “fatal four”; working at height can be incredibly dangerous for workers. Fortunately, there are regulatory safeguards in place that are designed to reduce fall risk, including scaffolding, training, and harness requirements. When these regulations are breached, workers are at risk.

Slip and Fall Hazards

It’s not just falls from heights that can be dangerous (and deadly), but also falls that occur at ground level, too. If a construction worker slips and falls on the job, they could suffer a traumatic brain injury, back or neck injury, spinal cord injury, bone fracture injury, internal injury, soft tissue injury, and more. Slip and fall hazards on construction sites are numerous and include uneven walking surfaces, objects in walking areas, poor lighting, wet or contaminated surfaces, and varying terrain.


Like falls from heights and caught-in/between accidents involving machinery, electrocution is another one of the top killers of construction industry workers. Of course, being around exposed electrical wiring is inherent to being a construction worker, where most buildings and homes are unfinished. With that in mind, no one other than trained electricians should be actually working with electricity and, even then, adherence to safety guidelines is critical. Most electricity accidents and injuries that happen on construction sites could be prevented with better training, ensuring that wires are not unnecessarily exposed, avoiding using electricity-conducting tools in high-voltage areas, and always following OSHA regulations.

Excessive Noise

While many of the above hazards will result in physical injuries that are visible, such as broken bones, lacerations, amputation injuries, etc., the loss of hearing is not visible but is equally as severe. With the use of high-powered tools and machinery, demolition, and more, loud noises are built-in to a construction site. Sadly, about 51 percent of workers in the construction industry have been exposed to hazardous noise, 31 percent of noise-exposed construction-industry workers report not using adequate hearing protection, and about 14 percent of all construction workers have a hearing difficulty. Using proper hearing protection can greatly reduce the risk of a hearing injury.


Trenches are narrow excavations in the ground that are typically deeper than they are wide. Trenching is a very important construction activity, usually relevant to new construction and repair projects. While often very necessary, trenches can be deadly, and trench collapses are a cause of injury and death. In order to avoid trench collapses, proper measures need to be taken in advance of trench construction, including site inspection. During trench construction, the process should be overseen by managers who regularly inspect the work and the safety of the trench. All those who are working around trenches should be properly trained and properly equipped with safety gear.

Contact OSHA Injury Attorney Today

At OSHA Injury Attorney, we seek to provide workers with the information that they need about their rights, OSHA regulations, and how to stay safe on a construction site. If you want to learn more about common construction site hazards or your rights if you’re injured on a construction site, we can help. To connect with OSHA Injury Attorney directly for a free consultation, send us a message through our online contact form at your convenience. We are here to support you.